Reducing smoking policy in England


NHS Smokefree Campaign image

Smoking is the biggest cause of preventable deaths in U.K., accounting for 100,000 deaths every year. It is responsible for significant number of hospital admissions such as respiratory tract diseases, cancers, and asthma in children, and the consequential cost to the National Health Service (NHS) is thought to be between £2.7 billion to £5.2 billion every year.

In March 2013, the Department of Health in England published a policy on reducing smoking in adults, children (under age 15) and pregnant women. Some of the strategies include increasing tax rates on tobacco, banning cigarette displays in shops, and running ‘smokefree’ campaigns.

Last year, the price for a packet of cigarette jumped 37p to an average of £7.46, a significant price considering the national minimum wage is £6.31 per hour for adults. This may have pushed people into pursuing black market cigarettes, and some people get caught smuggling cigarettes from another EU country such as Spain where the cost is half (£3.80).

On the other hand, for tobacco companies such as British American Tobacco (BAT) started selling their own branded e-cigarettes, and Imperial Tobacco is soon to follow this trend. I have personally seen a few individuals and patients who are using various brands e-cigarettes as substitute, and they are satisfied with their products. There is a possibility that this may be a very effective way for smokers to wean off tobacco due to the fact that this closely resembles the activity of smoking tobacco.

Electronic cigarette by BAT called Vype

Electronic cigarette by BAT called Vype

E-cigarettes may be an efficacious nicotine replacement therapy while the potential benefits and harms of e-cigarettes need yet to be formally assessed. Their efficacy and side effects need to be compared with pre-existing nicotine replacement products, and their use will also need to be regulated as medicinal products.


5 Responses to “Reducing smoking policy in England”

  1. uzouch Says:

    This is an interesting topic. Tobacco use is usually a controversial issue among Tobacco companies and public health advocates. The WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC) set up initiatives for countries to have a comprehensive direction for tobacco control policy. The Health Department in England is on one side regulating tobacco use while on the other side the Tobacco users are trying to circumvent the system. So many countries have introduced policies and strategies to end the tobacco use epidemic and also make the purchase of tobacco products especially cigarettes difficult but there is always loopholes in our system/lobbyists. With the introduction of the e-cigarettes this could very well help reduce the health impact…who knows. Even though, this new product(e-cigarettes) has established some major concerns on its potential benefits and risk of use. There is always that mixed feeling when a new product is released. People get cynical and rather stick to what they already know. As many companies are interested in marketing e-cigarettes, I agree they should be regulated as every other nicotine replacement product.

  2. jayeawatson1 Says:

    I definitely agree that greater research needs to be conducted on the potential side effects of e-cigarettes. I know here in the U.S it is consistently marketed as a way of still “enjoying smoking” without affecting the health of others through second-hand smoke. There are commercials that promote its substitute use in public areas that would otherwise not allow smoking at all. But my question is, do people really know what they are inhaling with these e-cigarettes? I know that it contains liquid nicotine, and even though water vapor instead of smoke is inhaled, the nicotine is still being internalized somehow. How is that a better option? Tobacco control is a difficult one to get a handle on, it’s good for the government financially, bad for the consumer, cigarettes are expensive, and yet people will still buy them. I don’t necessarily know if e-cigarettes are going to have people dropping their regular cigarettes right away, but it would be an interesting topic to follow.

  3. hacowie Says:

    I find this topic very interesting and investigating the effectiveness of e-cigarettes on reducing morbidity and mortality associated with tobacco products should prove to be interesting to watch. It may be interesting to watch the effectiveness of Australia’s new policies on packaging cigarette products (changing the color of packages, having large disturbing health photos covering the majority of the package to try and remove the”branding” of cigarettes), and whether this approach may prove to be more effective in fighting tobacco use.

  4. Grabación completa Says:

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    Reducing smoking policy in England | SBFPHC Policy Advocacy

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    Reducing smoking policy in England | SBFPHC Policy Advocacy

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